My 22 year old daughter has t1d and is struggling at the moment. She was diagnosed last nov so it’s coming up on 1 year now. She is an artist-oil painter- and also has adhd. She is overwhelmed with the diabetes and Covid. I tell her she needs to educate herself on diabetes but she finds the whole thing overwhelming. She refuses to go anywhere or be near anyone, except those in the house, due to the Covid.
She was going to a dietician who was helping educate her but the center closed down after the Covid got bad. I have a place for her to go to for diabetes education but she won’t physically go there. She said she will talk to someone virtually but won’t go bc of Covid. Not sure if that is possible. Need to look into that.
She also has sensory issues when it comes to food. She only eats a handful of items and is very sensitive to eating anything new. She has tried new foods but always goes back to the same foods she eats every day. Her food issues make the diabetes even more frustrating. She has her art to keep her busy but I am worried she might be getting depressed. She needs to connect with others who have t1d. Not sure which direction to go in or how to help her. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Hi @Kimmonty and welcome to the community. A diabetes diagnosis can be - probably is - overwhelming under the best of circumstances so I can’t begin to imagine what this is like for your daughter and you. My endo sees new patients in her office but has been doing tele visits for established patients. Her office also has a nutritionist and diabetes nurse educator which is helpful, and I believe they work the same way. Since your daughter was diagnosed a year ago hopefully her team is willing to consult online for the time being. Covid is changing established patterns so if they don’t have a nutritionist under their roof perhaps with some phone calls you can find one who can work with her via video call.
As you know diabetes is about balancing food, activity and insulin among other things. But it may be possible to focus on one area at a time. Since she has very specific food preferences perhaps she could learn and even create different recipes using those in her repertoire. That could give her some variety and maybe she would be willing to experiment a tiny bit since she has done that before (although so far without success something could change). BTW there are some great recipe apps available. I like mine short and sweet - much more than 5 ingredients and I don’t even look. I plug the recipe into my diabetes tracker to confirm carbs (and other nutrition), and if I make a substitution for certain items it will adjust. So if she sees a recipe she might like but wants to use squash instead of spinach she can experiment. Her limited food choices might be an advantage right now though as it could make carb counting and insulin dosing simpler.
Is she using a pump, or injections? Lots of people look at pumps at some point but if she takes shots and pumping seems overwhelming a change can probably wait for later. Or she could remain on shots. Some people do need a pump for control but lots of people do well on injections, and many of us took them for decades before pumps came about.
I’m wondering if she is afraid to leave the house due to Covid combined with diabetes, or if her anxiety was in place before Covid entered the picture? While certain medical conditions can put people at higher risk they say people whose diabetes is in good control are in no greater risk than others. But we must all be comfortable with our choice.
Is not unusual for people to speak with a counselor about their diabetes - when newly diagnosed and even with lots of experience. If your daughter has a counselor who helps her with her sensory issues perhaps they can help with her adjustment to diabetes as well.
One final note (at long last ): when my mom was in her mid 80s she started having hospital admissions for age related conditions - she was not diabetic. I was caring for her at home, taking her to appointments, etc. and did on my own the things you expect need to be done after a hospitalization. During one hospital stay I was connected with a social worker who helped me - us - navigate options I didn’t know existed. It turns out my mom was eligible for house calls(!) - which I didn’t know existed anymore. A physician was assigned to her and his office coordinated with her specialists, greatly cutting down on office visits which were getting challenging for her. All of that is to say, a medical social worker may be able to help the two of you identify available resources for her diabetes and any other care she needs.
Wishing you all the best.
Thank you so much for replying and for all your suggestions.
She was not like this before COVID came upon us so it’s something that Is definitely related to that anxiety.
I like your idea of using the foods she likes to make new recipes. I will suggest that to her.
I was thinking of suggesting a therapist who specializes in diabetes but not sure if that even exists. She needs to speak to someone about the food issues, diabetes and her anxiety about going out during COVID. Not sure if a dietician, therapist or just someone else with t1d would be best.
I see that jdrf has a few options to connect with other people with diabetes. I might talk to my daughter about going that route right now until we can see a dietician and see where things go from there.
All the best and stay safe
There are therapists who specialize in diabetes - her endo may have some names you can check out. It sounds like her food issue is separate from diabetes but FWIW, if you know anything about “the diabetes diet” from years past - a small and very strict selection to choose from - we have come a long way. Now it’s a matter of matching insulin to carbs, to put it very simply so we have much greater freedom.
If you or she search for “friends” in the forum you’ll find lots of people looking to connect with others with Type 1 - they generally indicate their age or age group. Some connect to discuss diabetes and others are looking for fellowType 1s who enjoy online gaming (those are typically in their teens but you get the idea).
Thanks Dorie for your help.
I’m new on the forums but I’m 19 and have had diabetes since I was 6. If she ever wants a friend to talk to online I would love to (: I struggle with mental health and eating problems too, I dont know how much I could help but it might help her to have someone to relate to. I dont know if it would be weird for her since I am a bit younger, but if she wants an online friend I would love to reach out!!!
You are so sweet to reach out. I will definitely let her know and have her contact you.
Thank you so much!
I spoke to my daughter and she’d love to talk to you. Let me know the best way she can contact you online.